Whilst we are a relatively small team here at ydangle apps, keeping track of all our projects both internally and with clients can be a challenging activity. We were initially using spreadsheets, documents and emails etc. to keep track of what we were doing both internally and with clients. Knowing which was the latest version of a document and keeping track of which tasks were outstanding was a mission.
We tried a couple services that were available. All required sign-up to the service and often resulted in us spending more time trying to manage the service than the work we were doing. Being a mobile development outfit, we use our mobile devices for almost everything so we decided to do an app for ourselves to manage our daily activities.
The key criteria for the app:
– Easy to use
– Only the essential functionality
– Synchronise across our mobile devices
– Provide a timeline of our activities.
– Keep all project activity in one place
We have been using the app for a while now and figured that if it is useful to us it may be useful for others so it has now found its way onto the app store.
The app currently has 4 modules:
Attachments: Here we place all our project documents such as proposals, spec documents and any other relevant information about the project we are working on. Documents can be added from iCloud, Dropbox etc. No more searching for who has what document. The documents are always at hand for ourselves and our clients.
Notes: This is where we capture notes at client meetings or any other notes we need to make relating to the project. All team members can add or edit the note and it all happens in real time. Links can be added and are clickable from within the app.
Tasks: Here, all our tasks pertaining to the project are captured. We have kept it simple. A few different statuses and reminders can be set. Tasks can also be assigned to different team members. Notes and info relating to tasks can be made.
Time Tracker: Keeping track of time for billing purposes is an essential part of what we do. We’ve kept it simple. Start the time tracker and off you go. There is a check box to keep track of items that have been billed.
The timeline is an essential design feature of the app. As all activity in the app is recorded on the timeline, a quick scroll through at the start or end of every day allows one to see exactly what each team member has been working on.
One of the challenges is planning your activities for the day. Whilst most apps deal with this in one way or another we chose to use a flag on the timeline together with a filter for that flag to allow focus on what should be done on any given day. Tap on My Tasks and simply scroll through the timeline at the start and end of each day and mark those items you want to do today. Then use the flag filter to work through those tasks during the course of the day.
Different permissions can be set for the project and modules if needed.
The app uses some cool peer to peer server technology we have developed which I won’t go into now. Point being that your data between team members and clients is always in sync using both web server and peer to peer services. All your own devices are kept in sync using iCloud.
Currently the app is iOS only. If we see a demand for the app we will develop an Android version as well.
We recognise that a lot of functionality can be added, but as I said at the beginning, we have deliberately kept it simple. No doubt, as with our other apps, users will come up with some great suggestions to improve the app. As always, we listen to this and will respond and enhance the app, provided we can remain true to the principle of keeping things simple.
It is also understood that some companies may have particular requirements from an app such as this and to this end we would be happy to develop custom versions of the app for specific use.
Please share your feedback with us. It is always much appreciated. If you would like to chat about the app please click here: